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Roasted Carrot And Ginger Soup

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An example of a carrot and ginger soup. stu_spivack/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

MAKES 10 TO 12 TASTING PORTIONS OR 8 FULL SERVINGS

Everyone’s on a special diet these days; gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian. Guess what? This soup can be served to everyone. Ginger adds a fresh, crisp, biting nuance to this soup when it’s roasted with carrots and leeks and then combined with a strongly steeped cup of ginger tea. If you want a multilayered ginger experi­ence, top the finished soup with some peeled and grated fresh ginger or thin strips of crystalized ginger. Grate the fresh ginger with a Microplane or the fine holes of a cheese grater directly onto the soup. Thanks to cookbook author, writer, and friend Molly O’Neill for the brilliant ginger tea and freshly grated ginger ideas.

The puréed soup can be served as is or topped with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or a swirl of heavy cream (apologies, vegans), chopped fresh chives, or Croutes or Polenta Croutons.

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Ingredients

  • 4 small or 2 large leeks
  • 10 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-in [5-cm] pieces
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • One 2-in [5-cm] piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped, plus freshly grated, peeled ginger for garnish (optional)
  • 1 ginger tea bag
  • 8 cups [2 L] Vegetable Stock
Directions
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F [200°C].
  2. Trim off the dark green sections from the leeks and save for making vege­table stock. Halve the pale green and white sections lengthwise. Rinse under cold running water, pat dry, and cut crosswise into ½-in [12-mm] pieces.
  3. In a medium roasting pan or ovenproof skillet, combine the carrots and leeks. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat the vegetables.
  4. Roast the vegetables for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and toss the vegetables. Stir in the chopped ginger and roast for another 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a kettle, bring 1 cup [240 ml] water to a boil. Make a cup of tea with the ginger tea bag and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the bag, squeezing it to release all the liquid.
  6. In a large stockpot over high heat, warm the vegetable stock.
  7. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and deglaze with the ginger tea, scraping up any bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Pour all the vegeta­bles and liquid into the stockpot. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and let cool slightly.
  8. Using a food processor or blender and working in batches or using a handheld immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Ladle the soup into mugs or bowls and serve topped with freshly grated ginger, if desired.

TO GO: If you’re adding grated ginger to the finished soup, grate it at home and pack it separately or bring peeled ginger and a Microplane grater to the party and let guests grate the ginger for themselves.

From Soup Swap by Kathy Gunst (Chronicle Books, 2016).

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